The Town of La Plata is located in Southern Maryland about 30 miles southeast of Washington, DC, 60 miles south of Baltimore, 45 miles southwest of Annapolis, and 80 miles north of Richmond, Va. It serves as the county seat for the Charles County Government and was originally founded in the 1870’s as the Pennsylvania Railroad was granted a right of way to build its tracks and station. The Town of La Plata was incorporated on April 4, 1888. Since La Plata’s inception, it has grown into a beautiful small town of 8,753 residents (2010 Census) with hundreds of small businesses that serve Southern Maryland.
According to one of several legends, the town was given its name by Colonel Samuel Chapman, whose family owned 6,000 acres (24 km²) of land in Southern Maryland, including what would become the areas of La Plata and Port Tobacco. The Colonel traveled to Central and South America with his son George, who had contracted tuberculosis, in search of a cure. In his travels, the Colonel was impressed with the La Plata River in Argentina, so he decided to name a portion of his property “La Plata” after the river.
La Plata is largely a residential community. Some residents work for the Charles County government, while others commute to Waldorf or the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore areas for work, including to Andrews Air Force Base and Naval Air Station Patuxent River. The town is experiencing a transformation into a thriving business and commercial center, thanks to development of office buildings and the town’s recent reconstruction.
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